Individuals who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus may not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, a KHOU-TV report finds.
What are the details?
KHOU’s Mia Salenetri says that generally speaking, people fired for refusing required vaccines — including the new COVID-19 vaccine — can be denied unemployment benefits in some cases.
“Some who refuse [shots] may be looking forward to the support of unemployment benefits while they look for a new job that doesn’t require vaccines. But for many of them, that might not be an option,” Salenetri writes.
“Major corporations like Disney and Walmart say they will require COVID-19 vaccines for some employees,” Salenetri writes. “In general, those fired for refusing can’t get unemployment.”
According to representatives at The Seltzer Law Firm and The Employment Law Group, in most areas of the country, if you are fired for breaking company policy — in the cases of Disney, Walmart, Google, and more refusing to provide proof of required vaccines — you are not eligible for unemployment payments.
Employment Attorney John T. Harrington told Salenetri that “[e]ven something as simple as a dress code” violation is considered company insubordination.
“It’s misconduct, and it would likely disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits,” Harrington warned, and pointed out that in some cases, the only way to get around it is to provide a valid medical or religious exemption, which are determined with employers only on a case-by-case basis.
“We have received numerous inquiries from clients and potential clients about how courts are likely to view these situations,” he added. “We’ve been advising them that if you have one of these two valid reasons to believe that you should be exempt from a vaccination requirement, you should assert them. But otherwise, companies are entitled to require that employees be vaccinated.”
Fired For Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine? You May Not Receive Unemployment Benefits
As companies across the country including Facebook, Walmart, Google, Uber and Disney begin to mandate Covid-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment, workers who are fired for refusing to do so might not receive unemployment benefits, according to WUSA.
The reason? In most states, if a person is fired with cause for violating company policy – such as mandatory vaccinations – they are not entitled to unemployment benefits and payments.